It’s that time of year again when it’s all about the powder. You may travel around the world for it. But for many, Aspen is firmly on the vacation repertoire. It’s nice that while there’s always a slew of new happenings in Aspen, some things stay the same. These are the essential and best restaurants in Aspen that should be on your list for every visit.
There’s something that makes St. Barths and Aspen seem to go hand in hand. And it’s not just the crowd that seems to jet between the two destinations in the winter. Betula is a St. Barths transplant that’s one of the places to be in Aspen. Because when in Aspen, dining in style is of the essence.
For a place that has one of the more fun bar scenes and attractive crowds in Aspen, the food is pretty darn good too. The cuisine is French Pan-American, and chef Laurent Cantineaux is known for whipping up hearty yet elegant classics. Moreover, after hitting the powder you’ll also be looking for cozy wine nights, where Betula’s lounge is a perfect place to curl up on the couch.
Address: 525 E Cooper Ave #201, Aspen, CO 81611
Catch Steak Aspen
You’ve been a regular at Catch since your twenties, when it would essentially turn into a club. The Aspen version is slightly more grown up, but very much still a total scene. There’s a reason that Catch has stayed relevant through all these years though, and it’s because the food and atmosphere are solid. Catch is your quintessential steak house.
This is one of the best restaurants in Aspen for California reds by the bottle, and a big old steak to go with them. For non-meat eaters, Catch has many gluten-free and vegetarian meals to choose from.
Address: 515 E Hopkins Ave, Aspen, CO 81611
Clark’s Oyster Bar
Clark’s is your essential restaurant in Aspen for lunch. With its laidback decor and unassuming crowd, it reminds you of old-fashioned ice-cream-and-soda shops. From fresh fish to in-house baked bread, the food at Clark’s is perfect for an in-between meal or a midday pick-me-up. Clark’s also offers a cocktail of the day, along with an assortment of draft beers.
Address: 517 E Hyman Ave, Aspen, CO 81611
When Nobu Matsuhisa‘s name is attached, you can count on some seriously delectable sushi. Aspen’s Matsuhisa is no exception and is the essential local restaurant for all things Japanese cuisine. The restaurant is housed in a 120-year-old home that’s all charm, and filled with beautiful people.
Address: 303 E Main St, Aspen, CO 81611
Ellina is one of the best restaurants in Aspen for a hearty Italian dinner without the side of pretentiousness. This is where you go when you want to get away from Aspen’s scene and just catch up with friends. While Ellina has all of your favorite Italian classics, including pasta made fresh every day, it’s more than your typical Italian eatery. The place veers from the well-known Italian-restaurant path with a taco menu — always a crowd pleaser. Year-rounders and visitors agree that Ellina is of the best restaurants in Aspen.
Address: 430 East Hyman Avenue Downstairs, Aspen, CO 81611
Sometimes you just want to have a civilized date night. Or sit at the bar where it’s not a huge pickup scene and eat good food. Duemani is one of the best Aspen restaurants for people with refined tastes and a preference for Mediterranean cuisine. The place has a top-tier wine list and a creative cocktail menu, but the star of the show here is the food. Order crudos and tartares to start out the night, then move on to fish and hearty steak dishes.
Address: 216 S Monarch St, Aspen, CO 81611